Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 27: Lochaline

The Flocks of Lochaline

My neighbours are sheep,
they leave me wool on the fence
and save me the trouble of mowing the grass.

I pass them on the road –
they don’t wave or nod,
but they see me from the corners of their yellow eyes.

They lie in the road by the loch
defying the drivers in their cars.
Won’t shift.

Today I saw them step dainty
on the cattle grid,
toe-tip-toe on each spaced bar,
balancing steady as tightrope walkers,
crossing that barrier
meant to keep them in...

But now they’re out
and the wide beyond
is all before them.
Who knows where they’ll go,
or what they’ll do?


Jan Dean
This poem was previously published in The Penguin In Lost Property, Jan Dean & Roger Stevens (Macmillan 2014)

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